Coming Out Under Fire: The History of Gay Men and Women in World War II

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Univ of North Carolina Press, Sep 7, 2010 - Social Science - 416 pages
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During World War II, as the United States called on its citizens to serve in unprecedented numbers, the presence of gay Americans in the armed forces increasingly conflicted with the expanding antihomosexual policies and procedures of the military. In Coming Out Under Fire, Allan Berube examines in depth and detail these social and political confrontation--not as a story of how the military victimized homosexuals, but as a story of how a dynamic power relationship developed between gay citizens and their government, transforming them both. Drawing on GIs' wartime letters, extensive interviews with gay veterans, and declassified military documents, Berube thoughtfully constructs a startling history of the two wars gay military men and women fough--one for America and another as homosexuals within the military.

Berube's book, the inspiration for the 1995 Peabody Award-winning documentary film of the same name, has become a classic since it was published in 1990, just three years prior to the controversial "don't ask, don't tell" policy, which has continued to serve as an uneasy compromise between gays and the military. With a new foreword by historians John D'Emilio and Estelle B. Freedman, this book remains a valuable contribution to the history of World War II, as well as to the ongoing debate regarding the role of gays in the U.S. military.


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User Review  - mdobe - LibraryThing

Review by Elaine Taylor May points out that Berube's is a pioneering work in the social history of gays in World War II. He finds that the experience of WWII was both that of increased surveillance ... Read full review

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The book its self is actually pretty interesting but not what i searched I searched the history of prison uniforms not the interesting history of homosexuals


Why We Fight
1 Getting In
2 Fitting In
A Gay Refuge
The Gay Life and Vice Control
5 The Fight for Reform
Psychiatrists Discover the Gay GI
7 Comrades in Arms
8 Fighting Another War
9 Rights Justice and a New Minority
10 The Legacy of the War
A Note on Sources
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About the author (2010)

Allan Berube (1946-2007) was a community historian and author of numerous essays and articles.

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